Utah condo group fines homeowners for flying American flag
In the small town of Murray, Utah, Chestnut Place is a condominium community of about 60 patriotic homeowners. Many of the residents proudly fly the American flag every day.
But this didn't sit well with the president of the homeowners association, who got "tired" of seeing all that red, white, and blue all over the complex. So she got the association board to pass a rule banning the flying of the American flag, under penalty of a $75 fine.
In Utah? You can imagine what happened next:
"After the last board meeting, we were leaving and two members of the board and a resident said they were tired of looking at the flag," said Jo Ann Dugay, who is one of the five board members on the Home Owners Association. "They said 'is this flag row?' And that something needed to be done about it.”
Something was: last week those living in the community were warned to take down the flags.
"I'm not taking it down, that's one thing I won't do." said Erin Worthen, one of the residents asked to remove it.
As a result, she was fined $75 and given a notice, which states:
"All exterior decorations must be removed within 10 days following the holiday... Please remove your flag from the common area (Utah Community Association Act. 57-8a-219)"
Worthen said she was shocked at the language on the notice.
"That is not a holiday decoration," she points out. "People have died for that, it is not a holiday decoration."
The President of the Home Owners Association was steadfast in her decision to enforce the fine Thursday. She said she was tired of seeing flags, not just the American flag, flying up and down the street all day and night, and 365 days of the year.
"Flags are flown on holiday events," said Lyn Steinbergen, President of the HOA. "All we are trying to do is regulate when the flag goes up, and when it comes down.”
Homeowners were hoping to address the stipulations at an HOA meeting scheduled for Thursday night, but with the room already full, and the meeting set to take place, board members canceled at the last second.
"The board wasn't here tonight," said a lawyer for the HOA. He says one board member was missing and that's why they canceled the meeting.
But home owners felt the HOA was simply skirting the issue.
"I have a legal right to fly my American Flag, and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it,” yelled a frustrated Worthen.
She said she was fined for the flag as well, and had scheduled to talk about it on the meeting agenda. She believes the board is simply trying to avoid addressing the situation, and believes the HOA President is mostly to blame.
"Because she is not getting her way, she's going to shut it down," Worthen said.
The cowardly wretches on the board couldn't face the wrath of the people. Well, the story has gone viral, and I will be surprised if they're on that board next week.
This is not a "safety" issue, which is what schools claim when they ban the flag. God forbid showing the flag would enrage some Mexicans or Muslims. Their justification for banning the flying of the flag is simply personal pique – they're "tired" of seeing a bunch of flags flying all the time.
Residents say they will call a special meeting next week to vote out the board members. I suggest they bring a barrel of tar and a few feather pillows with them, as well as a nice long rail so they can ride the flag haters out of town.